FESTIVAL – Sonic Wave Festival 2021, Various Venues, Birmingham, UK

Review and Photography by Robert Barrett

Candid @ The Crossing

This is it, the start of an exciting new chapter for the Birmingham music scene. A festival that provide’s all the best city center venues with a heap of incredible acts, our own “Live at Leed’s” style event. Sonic Wave is exactly what the city needs, armed with my camera and a couple of warm layers I set my self the task of checking out all the venues on offer to see what it was all about.

The Royston Club @ The Crossing

First up was the main hub of the festival, The Crossing where I caught The Royston Club. Considering it was early in the day they played to a full room. A little bit of The Smiths in both the lyrics and the sound went a long way. Some brilliant and relatable lyrics were highlighted in the more acoustic second half of the set. An excellent start to the day.

Valeras @ O2 Institute 3

Right next door at the O2 Institute up in the rafters of the 3rd room I caught Valeras who Came to the stage with the swagger of a great rock band, and the set to back it up.

The criminally underfilled room soon filled up after two tracks. Frontwoman Rose Yagmur carried herself with the swagger of Josh Homme as the band swept through tracks from there back catalogue.

The Novus @ The Sunflower Lounge

I took a walk back into the center for The Novus at The Sunflower Lounge. A formidable live act, they made the most of the small underground venue with intense songs and there always captivating frontman Connor Hill. Songs such as ‘I Serve Not” hit even harder than on the recorded version, escpically when it’s being screamed into your face.

Candid @ The Crossing

Back at The Crossing was Coventry’s finest Candid, hot off the heels of a sold out hometown show (check our previous article for the full lowdown!). The band brought the same energy to this performance with a snappy and memorable setlist.

New banger “Dividers” with its instantly catchy riff is sure to be a future floor stomper. They even managed to conjure up the first mosh pit of the day. Two more new tracks “Lost On Me” and “The Truth” followed straight up, a brave move to play three new tracks in a row. However it payed off and showed the quality of their new material.

Courting @ The Engine Shed

I swiftly moved up the road to the tiny venue at the Engine Shed. This is where I caught the first few songs of Courting, who couldn’t help expressing there slight annoyance at the small stage. Thet managed to play past this and made an excellent impression on the crowd with catchy and charming tracks.

Chappaqua Wrestling @ Muthers Studio

Taking the long trek to Muther’s Studio, i was greeted by a wonderful vibrant venue and an excellent band gracing it. It was ashame that not many others had made the trek to check it out, espically with Chappaqua Wrestling playing the most energetic and joyus set of the day. The set was cut a little short as they needed to catch a train back to London, but it left everyone wanting more.

Moa Moa @ The Victoria

Talking about catching trains, i managed to catch two songs from Moa Moa at The Victoria before having to catch my own. There synthy psychy sound traslating well to the intimate setting of the upstairs room, and it helped that they seemed to be having a load of fun on stage. I wish i could have seen the whole set, but train canclleations brought my day to a close.

Considering the complexity’s of holding a festival during the Omnicron wave, Sonic Wave was a great sucsess. Not only did it showcase a wide and exciting line up of acts, but the quality and variation of Birmingham’s venues. Bring on next summers installment, hopefully the sunshine will pack some of the venues further afield.

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